Nation Media Group (NMG) has injected Sh4 million into this year’s edition of the Barclays Kenya Open Golf Championship. The competition, which will mark its 50th anniversary this year, will be held at the Muthaiga Golf Club between March 22 and 25.
NMG’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Stephen Gitagama explained that the amount will act as a media sponsorship which will be used to promote the tournament through Nation’s numerous platforms.
“This tournament is an important part of our tourism culture and has continued to promote sports both among the youth and people like us. This is why we have chosen to stick with our age old tradition of supporting this initiative and I can assure you that we shall do it wholeheartedly,” he said on Monday.
The tournament will be preceded by two Pro-Am events set for March 20 and 21, which will act as a curtain raiser for the prestigious event.
With the prize money in this year’s edition having been increased by 127 per cent from €220,000 (about Sh27.5m) to € 500,000 (Sh62.5m), the winner of this year’s event will have a great chance of earning a European Tour card.
Kenya Open Golf Limited Chairman Peter Kanyago believes the increased purse will make for a very competitive tourney this year.
“Already the entries are overflowing and I believe we shall have a very eventful tourney. The prizes are impressive and I know the competition will make Kenya a great tourism hub,” Kanyago said.
Out of the total prize money, the overall winner at Muthaiga this year will walk away with €80,000 (Sh10,160,000), while the second placed player will get €55,000 and the one following him €35,000. The fourth placed golfer will take home €30,000 almost the same as what England’s Aaron Rai won when he clinched the title in 2017.
The lowest player at 60th place will win €1,550 (Sh196,850). A total of 150 professional golfers and six local amateurs are expected in this year’s event.
English professional golfer of a Kenyan born mother Aaron Rai completed a 72-hole total of 17 under par 267, to win last year’s edition.
By BRIAN YONGA